ROSEANNE BARRED: A Sweeping Move in American Television and Entertainment

DK ONLINE: Wow. It happened that fast. Never seen anything like it. In a heartbeat, ABC Television canceled the popular sitcom reboot “Roseanne” after lead star and comedian Roseanne Barr sent out a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former advisor and staffer in the White House of former President Barack Obama. The cancelation is sweeping and clearly a turning point in America’s increasingly tense political and social environments and emboldened efforts to combat racism.

Late Tuesday it was reported that reruns of the classic show were pulled from CMT, TV Land and other areas.

It started with Roseanne Barr sending a tweet linking Chelsea Clinton to George Soros, the big time liberal/Democratic donor, and a racially explosive tweet saying Valerie Jarrett is like the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.” Jarrett was born in Iran and is African-American.

Shock, outrage and more shock blew up social media with Barr trying to control the damage in part by tweeting this apology.

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It was hardly enough. ABC management spoke out.

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Comedian and show producer Wanda Sykes bailed just hours before the cancelation.

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Members of the cast, including Sara Gilbert blasted Roseanne’s statements and reacted to the show being dropped.

 

Several prominent members of the entertainment industry also shared their reactions, including Roseanne’s ex-husband Tom Arnold.

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The relaunched program had drawn fire for Roseanne’s conservative politics and overtones but the racist Tweet did something few have seen in recent memory: directly end a show that earned a 5.1 rating (huge in the TV business), attracting 18.1 million viewers in the important demo of adults between 18-29 during it’s March reunion debut.

As pointed out by many in the media, ABC’s landmark decision places an interest in civility above profits. Surely this will drastically alter standards in the entertainment landscape, at least in the near term.

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